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The Secret Jewish History Of The Pussyhat

By Amy Oringel | 7 March 2017

FORWARD — While supporters of Donald Trump sport red baseball hats with the promise to “Make America Great Again,” Trump’s opponents have their own signature piece of headwear: the pink pussyhat. The hand-knit hat with cat ears designed by Jayna Zweiman, 38, and her friend Krista Suh has become a recognized symbol of dissent. It is also, according to Zweiman, her personal act of tikkun olam.

All four of Zweiman’s grandparents emigrated from Eastern Europe and while they made every attempt to assimilate, they told their granddaughter about what they endured. Zweiman’s grandfather had to wait eight years for a visa. Her grandmother, a refugee after World War I, subsisted for several months on potatoes.

“I know so many families have these same stories,” Zweiman told me. “It’s just proof that people deserve dignity, respect and safety. That’s the American dream and it has always been a big part of my life.”

Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, Zweiman was educated at a Solomon Schechter elementary school, and attended Brown University where she majored in economics and the visual arts and began experimenting with yarn in art installation projects. During her gap year, she worked in Washington, D.C. on Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign. She received her master’s in architcure from Harvard Graduate School for Design. […]

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